COWBOYS: Self-titled: LP

Ah, it warms my heart to know a band from Bloomington, Indiana is hot (says the Internet). I lived in Bloomington for many years and I’ll always have good memories of the great Midwestern bands I saw and played shows with. My Midwest years taught me that people cared about playing and supporting music (stuff it, East and West Coasts). By the time I left Bloomington in 2015, The Cowboys were making waves locally, but I thought they’d disappear like so many other good bands that suddenly vanish back into the nowhere from whence they came. I only saw them twice, because they would do stupid things like play house shows on a Tuesday night, and I would do stupid things like have to get up early Wednesday morning to go to work. Fortunately, The Cowboys have picked it up, touring and putting out this here album on the hot label Lumpy Records (one look at the cover and you can tell it’s a Lumpy release). I’ve read some reviews of The Cowboys, and more than one called them garage punk. I have to disagree, even though “Thumbs” is a total rocker. From the first I heard them, I thought Cowboys had more of an early ‘80s California feel. (They have a Dead Kennedys-esque guitar tone I haven’t heard from any other band of youngsters, and check out the Jello-like vibrato on “I Spy” or “Come All Ye Faithful.”) The cover is a nice, heavy stock with a screened cover. All the songs are good, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. “She Wants to Be French” teases “My Sharona” but gets wiggy near the end. “Clown Car” plays with reverb and feedback to excellent squiggly results. Midwestern punk gives me hope for music today. –Sal Lucci (Lumpy, spottedrace.bigcartel.com)